In New Westminster, British Columbia, sexual harassment and assault accusations are increasing in workplaces and in society. However, it is important to know that not all forms of sexual harassment are criminal or subject to civil lawsuits. Although a lot of people know what rape is, those accused of sex-related crimes must consult with a criminal lawyer New Westminster if they don’t know what their charges mean.
Kinds of Sexual Offences
Sex crimes in BC are categorized into those against adults and minors. Any person who sexually touches a person younger than 16 can be convicted of sexual interference. In addition, it is illegal to solicit sex or sexual touching from a minor. Although some exceptions can apply to younger offenders, Crown counsel takes sex crimes seriously.
Charges for sexual assault vary depending on the nature of the alleged assault. Ordinary sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual assault with a weapon carry serious criminal penalties. And those who have a history of a sexual assault conviction can face higher sentences.
Additionally, some kinds of sex-related crimes do not involve physical sexual contact. These include indecent exposure, child pornography, incest, and voyeurism. Crown Counsel punishes offenders in a criminal inquiry. But, although these offences carry smaller punishments than sexual assault crimes, you still need a lawyer to help defend you.
Steps to Take After Being Charged with a Sex Crime
If you are facing a sex-related charge, you must get in touch with a lawyer with extensive experience in handling your type of case. This way, your attorney knows the possible defense strategies to use to increase your chances of acquittal or getting less serious sentencing. Although you can defend yourself during a criminal inquiry, you may not know how to do it right before Crown Counsel. In fact, you can end up doing more harm than good.
What Your Defence Lawyer Will Do
Before trial, your lawyer will take advantage of different aspects of criminal laws to protect you from injustices. They will seek a preliminary inquiry into your charges. During this inquiry, you can force witnesses to be cross-examined. Also, your layer may file evidentiary motions to exclude the use of prejudicial evidence.
Should Crown Counsel hear your case in court, your attorney will use this opportunity to defend you from prosecution. You and the Crown Counsel present witnesses and evidence at trial. And the court will make its final ruling based on the evidence submitted. If the ruling is not in your favor, you can go to a higher court to appeal the decision.